iPhone data plan
Apple has released an iPhone 5 carrier update that will bring Verizon settings from version 13.0 to 13.1. The update comes as reports have surfaced that some iPhone 5 users' cellular data plans were ringing up data usage despite being connected to Wi-Fi.
Installing the carrier update should fix the issue, and Verizon has announced it will not charge for any incorrectly clocked cellular data. Normally connecting to a Wi-Fi network ensures that no cellular network data is used. The update can easily be installed directly on your Verizon iPhone 5.
As promised AT&T rolled out its new Mobile Share data plans on Thursday. The new plans are designed to help new and existing subscribers share data on up to 10 devices. Existing customers do not have to switch to a Mobile Share plan, but can do so without a contract extension if they choose to.
The Mobile Plans start at $40 for 1GB of data with unlimited talk and text. You can add an additional smartphone for $45, basic phones cost an additional $30, additional laptops and mobile hotspot devices cost $20, and tablets and gaming devices are $10 each per month. At least one smartphone is required to be part of an AT&T Mobile Share group. You will of course need more data for each device you add, so plans range from 1GB to 20GB of data. The price of an adding an additional smartphone does decrease until you hit the 10GB tier.
AT&T has announced that its new Mobile Share plans will be available starting Thursday, Aug. 23. The carrier has also launched a Mobile Share planner to help families prepare for the upcoming changes if they choose to switch.
The new plans are designed to help new and existing subscribers share data on up to 10 devices. Users who sign up for the Mobile Share plan will also enjoy unlimited voice minutes, text messages and free mobile hotspot capabilities. Existing members are not required to switch to a new plan, but they can do so without a contract extension. At least one smartphone is required to be part of each AT&T Mobile Share group.
AT&T has followed Verizon Wireless by offering their own version of shared data plans for multiple mobile devices. These plans all come with unlimited texting and voice minutes and allow laptops and tablets to connect with an additional fee.
The plans are called Mobile Share plans, and they come in different tiers based on how many GB of data you're interested in using. To subscribe for a plan, you must have at least one smartphone connected along with a minimum of 1 GB of data.
Verizon has announced that their "Share Everything Plan" will go live on June 28th. The plan gives users unlimited talk and text with the ability to share data on up to 10 devices. The plans start at $50 per month for 1GB of data and work their way up to $100 for 10GB of data. Each additional device will cost you between $10 to $40: $10 for tablets, $20 for hotspots, $30 for basic phones and $40 for smartphones. Mobile hotspot is included at no additional cost.
The Share Everything Plan makes Verizon the first U.S. carrier to offer the ability to share a lot of data across multiple devices. However, as Ina Fried of AllThingsD pointed out, it may put single smartphone users at a disadvantage.
Monthly wireless data plans are great, until you get the bill. With most iPhone carriers moving to data caps some users are paying extra when the limits are exceeded. FreedomPop is looking to provide another solution for iPhone owners, a full gigabyte of data usage free.
So what's the catch? FreedomPop will provide a special iPhone case for a $100 deposit, which is fully refundable if the case is returned in good condition. The case has a built-in WiMAX radio and is capable of connecting up to eight devices (including the iPhone) to the 4G network via mobile hotspot.
With the release of the 4G LTE iPad an LTE iPhone seems imminent, and new iPad owners are quickly learning about the pitfalls of fast wireless connections. The Wall Street Journal published a report about the responsibility that comes with 4G connectivity by profiling one man who blew through 2GB of his Verizon data plan while watching March Madness games.
"Two hours of college basketball—which he viewed mounted to his car dashboard and live at tournament games—had burned through his monthly wireless data allotment of two gigabytes. Now, to keep surfing the Web or watch more NCAA hoops over Verizon Wireless's 4G network, Mr. Wells will have to pay an extra $10 for every gigabyte above his current $30 subscription."
The folks over at Tether.com have been working hard to provide their smartphone tethering service over the web, ever since the iTether app was removed from the App Store. Now iPhone users can make their devices into a personal hotspot by simply logging into their tether account via a web browser, with no jailbreak or other iOS software required.
Tethering makes it possible to share your iPhone's data connection with other devices, such as notebook computers. Cellular carriers charge extra for the privilege, although they also increase the amount of monthly data available to the subscriber. Over the years, jailbreak apps have appeared to take advantage of tethering without paying extra monthly fees.
AT&T has made changes to its data throttling policies in response to complaints from unlimited plan users. Now instead of slowing down data speeds when a customer reaches 2GB of usage, the company will take this action at the 3GB mark. The policy changes brings data throttling of unlimited customers in line with the revised upper-tier 3G data plan which provides 3GB of usage.
Unlimited plans have been grandfathered in for some time now, with new subscribers required to select from tiered data plans and pay extra fees if they exceed the limit. The actions of AT&T, which slowed down data speeds for the top 5 percent of unlimited data plan users prompted criticism from several quarters, including lawyers.
AT&T's recent throttling policy hasn't been popular with its customers, but they hope to score some brownie points with a new plan that would allow developers to pay for a user's data consumption while using an app. The idea is for app developers to foot part of people's data bills in hopes customers will make more in-app purchases. AT&T’s network and technology head John Donovan told the The Wall Street Journal that it would be like using a toll-free 1-800 number.
“A feature that we’re hoping to have out sometime next year is the equivalent of 800 numbers that would say, if you take this app, this app will come without any network usage”